Working in the health and wellness field for the past 14 years, I’ve had people tell me what a profound influence I’ve had on their life. This has always seemed a bit strange to me, having spent only a small amount of time with these individuals. Then I went to Coco Loco Eco-Resort, and I understood these sentiments. A week there literally changed my life. It’s a quiet little paradise unlike any other, and I don’t know if even the owners fully comprehend the kind of magic they have created. I hope they do, and if not, here’s my major shoutout to you guys!
It’s hard to put into words exactly what it is that makes this place so special, because it’s a combination of so many things. It’s the wonderful hospitality offered by the owners and staff, the amazing food with family-style dining, the scenic beach-side location, quaint little cabanas, and the continuous soundtrack of waves and tropical birds. During every moment, you are encouraged to relax and enjoy all that the beach life has to offer. From the moment you are picked up at the airport to the moment you are dropped off, you will want for nothing. Time stops at Coco Loco, so be prepared to leave your busy mind behind, surrender to the waves and sun, and find a peace that is hard to come by in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Let me set the scene for you: Throughout 6 acres of lush jungle vegetation, you’ll find a handful of quaint little cabanas, each with a private front porch and hammock, private outdoor shower, composting toilet, and comfy bed with mosquito net. They offer single, double, triple, and quad cabanas, each with their own charm. Afternoon siestas in the porch hammock are a great way to pass the time, and nothing beats a shower under the stars! Just down the way, you’ll also find the beach house, which sits directly on the ocean with three private rooms and a wrap-around porch. The views are stunning!
Winding down the path takes you up to the yoga studio, an open air shala with palm thatch roof and an incredible view! Few things beat sunset yoga! It is an absolute pleasure to both teach and practice in this space, and it comes equipped with mats, blocks, straps, pillows, and blankets – everything you need for practice! During our retreats, we normally practice in the mornings pre-surf, and at sunset. There’s nothing like opening your eyes after savasana to a beautiful blood red sky! Though I have yet to practice with each of the Coco Loco instructors, I was fortunate enough to experience Nikki’s delicious restorative practice this past Janaury – highly recommend her nurturing and replenishing practice!
Just off the yoga shala, you will find the common area with several hammocks, covered and open lounge areas, pool, shop, and restaurant and bar area. This is where some of the fun happens and you are most likely to mingle with other guests. Dining is family style, and there is no lack for delicious food! Being vegan, travelling can sometimes be tough, but the staff were so accommodating and every meal I had was amazing! Four superfood-infused meals are served daily, including a delicious post-surf brekkie, and fresh-pressed juices are available each day. Make sure you ask Ezequiel or Thomas to make you a mojito, too, while you lounge poolside pre-dinner!
If you’re looking for a little adventure, there’s several surf spots for all levels in the area. The Bay, a short walk down the beach, is a favourite spot for beginners and intermediate surfers, and you’ll have fun connecting with other travellers and locals in the area! Depending in the time of year, you can surf right out front, too. This past retreat in January, we spent most mornings out front and it was just our group, with all the waves to ourselves! Though I haven’t surfed them (at this point with my surf abilities I’d likely die lol), there’s the famous Boom Break and The Island for your more advanced surfers. One day I’ll make it out there (maybe in a few years)! Coco Loco has a great team of surf instructors, whether you’re a newbie or wanting to advance your surf game. Ezequiel, Thomas, Oscar, and Francisco are all knowledgable, patient, and dedicated to making sure you have the best experience on the waves! They are one of the best instructor teams out there!
There’s also tons of other great activities in and around Coco Loco! Restore with a great massage, enjoy a sunset horseback ride, go on a volcano trek, SUP or kayak through the mangroves, learn to make chocolate, and definitely check out the local salsa night every thursday for some major fun! I also highly recommend spending some time volunteering with Waves of Hope, Coco Loco’s non-profit (more on that in another post!). Whether dancing with the kids, helping to renovate one of the local schools, teaching english, or watching the baby turtles be released to the big blue, there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved and give back to the community that provides such beautiful space for your getaway. I must say as well, it’s a super special experience to watch those little turtles make their way into the ocean! If you’re lucky and you head there between October and January, you just might get to experience this miracle!
Honestly, at the end of the day, there’s no place I could recommend more to escape for a week, or longer if you can! From great conversation with Ezequiel, Thomas’ mean mojitos, joking around with Oscar, Katia’s endearing “ay yai yai” when our less than adequate spanish tumbles out, Melayna’s welcoming smile, to all the lovely greetings from the entire staff (all local!), this is a place where you will be treated like family. To Jamie, Earl, Ben, and Ben, thank you guys for creating something truly magical, for providing a space for healing and rejuvenating, and for always greeting us with open arms. I can’t thank you enough for providing us with such a great home from home for our retreats, and for all you do to keep the eco-tourism industry flowing, all while supporting your local community. See you all in October!